The International Day of Yoga, or simply Yoga Day, is celebrated every year on 21st June since the year 2015. The concept of the day was proposed by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on 27th September 2014.
While addressing at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Mr. Modi said, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.” Following this, the UNGA adopted 21st June as International Yoga Day, thus making it a pride moment for India and Indians. Besides physical exercise, yoga is a spiritual and mental practice that has its roots in the Indian subcontinent.
The theme for Yoga Day 2021 is “Yoga for Wellness.”
Yoga provides relief from mental and physical stress. It is a health practice beneficial for people of all ages. Let’s go through some of the key benefits of yoga.
- Yoga acts as pain relief, especially for the lower back. Basic stretching eases pain and is the primary treatment recommended for individuals with back pain problems.
- Yoga enhances your immunity and inner strength. It warms up your muscles and improves the body’s flexibility. Exercises like deep breathing or the famed tree pose (wherein we balance our body on one foot while the other foot is positioned above the knee) increase your blood flow.
- People practicing yoga have healthier hearts. It reduces stress levels, balances body weight and blood pressure, thus reducing any strain on the heart. The downward dog pose (place your body on two arms and two legs while stretching your spine and tailbone) reduces/controls the body swelling.
- Yoga relaxes your mind, and you sleep like a baby. It is slightly challenging to do, but if you can stay in this pose for around 10 minutes daily, your body can develop a marvelous shape while relaxing you with a sound sleep. I am talking about the ‘legs up the wall’ pose. You need to keep your back on the floor with your sitting bones touching the wall.
- If yoga makes you relaxed and sleep well, doesn’t it mean you’ll wake up with more energy and a pleasing mood! Yes, it does, and you’ll feel fresh mentally, soothed emotionally, and with revived energy levels.
- Life is tough and tougher for people with arthritis and other problems with bones/joints. Well, yoga has come as a relief for you. Not heavy, but gentle exercises and simple positions can go a long way in rooting out these chronic problems.
- More than anything, yoga is a way of self-care and promotes self-love. It allows you some time entirely for yourself and your body from the entire day of a hectic schedule. Your body loves you back if you care for it, and yoga is one of the most important ways to express your love.
- How does yoga manage stress? I’ve promoted yoga as a stress management exercise twice already in this blog, as I am confident it does so. There is scientifically proven evidence that shows yoga as a boon for mental health. One of the simplest positions (also one of my favorites) in this case is the Savasana, also called the corpse pose. Simply lie down with your limbs away from your body (slightly stretched and not touching the body) and deep breathe for around 10-15 minutes.
- Lastly, now that you’ll become fond of yoga – it is best if you can join yoga classes. Not only will it help with a synchronized practice routine, but you’ll also get some time away from your home (or office), breathe fresh air while on your way to the class, and most significantly, be a part of the community. You might make some new friends, a group of like-minded people.
Wishing and hoping that you had a healthy yoga day!
Before ending, I’d like to convey that whatever exercise you do, do it under guidance. Follow an expert either personally or through proper channels (YouTube or any other social media platform) that are widely available today.
Avani Raj Arora